Diabetes: Type 1: Glucose Monitor

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What is a Blood Glucose Monitor?


About the size of a cell phone, a blood glucose monitor is a device that takes a drop of blood that has been applied to a test strip and provides an estimate of the blood glucose (sugar) concentration at that moment.


Deciding on a Blood Glucose Monitor


Deciding which meter is the best one for any given individual can sometimes be a process of trial and error, as there many different types from which to choose. There are simple meters that have fewer features, and others that are much more complicated. The cost of the meter may also be a factor to consider, along with understanding personal health insurance coverage. How frequently one needs to perform testing is an additional factor that should be considered. Lastly, there are some meters that allow you to download information onto your computer so that the user can graphically follow her progress. This information can also often be shared wirelessly with the user’s physician. For many people, the best blood glucose monitor may well be the one that is the easiest to operate and the most straightforward.  


Blood Glucose Monitor Accuracy


With today’s blood glucose technology, the accuracy of the measurement is quite high. Generally the true value is approximately within 10 to 15 percent of the value displayed on the monitor itself. Of course, achieving this accuracy is dependent upon proper use.


Blood Glucose Monitoring Kit


A blood glucose monitoring system is known as a kit, and the kit contains a blood glucose monitor, which is the device that will read the blood glucose, a lancing device, which holds a very small needle, known as a lancet. The lancet pokes the skin to obtain a drop of blood, which is then applied to a test strip. The monitors do require batteries, which will need to be changed periodically. The batteries may last a few months or even a year depending upon usage.


The term “coding” refers to a type of calibration that may be required in order to allow the monitor to understand which test strips are being used. Coding may require the insertion of a small chip or even just manually entering a code into the meter. This helps ensure the accuracy of your tests by making sure that the test strips and the monitor are properly matched.